The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to Hoods For Heroes, funding the purchase of at least 250 Particulate Barrier Hoods for firefighters. These hoods are an important safety tool to prevent cancerous chemicals from reaching the sensitive head and neck areas, where skin is the thinnest. Firefighters face literally hundreds of toxic chemicals in a typical fire.
“This grant gives us the ability to get these protective hoods to our firefighters much quicker,” said Hoods For Heroes CEO Jeff Rountree. “The earlier we can get these lifesaving hoods to our first responders, the better.”
The hoods reduce the risk of exposure to cancer-causing chemicals and soot by over 99%. “The hoods are expensive, and many departments simply do not have the funds to purchase them,” Rountree noted.
The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was launched in 2005 after Firehouse Subs and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation co-founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Foundation raises funds to award lifesaving equipment, support prevention education, fund scholarships and continued education, and provide support for the military and disaster relief efforts. Grants are made to first responders and nonprofit organizations through a rigorous application process reviewed by the Foundation’s board of directors.
“The Foundation’s and Hoods for Heroes’ commitment to helping our hometown heroes really brought the two organizations together,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Senior Manager of Foundation Development Meghan Vargas. “We’re inspired and grateful for the work Hoods for Heroes does for first responders, and we’re proud to aid their efforts and protect the health and well-being of our firefighters.”
“Cancer among firefighters has become an epidemic, with about two in three expected to develop cancer during their careers,” noted President of Hoods For Heroes Bill Hamilton. “It’s a tremendous danger for those who are already risking their lives while they protect their communities. Hoods For Heroes was created to reduce that risk with these protective hoods. They literally can save lives.”